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I knew I would regret it if I succumbed to laziness and didn’t try to find a place to eat Hiroshima’s variant of okonomiyaki. Not eating meat, invariably when the questions come post-travel — ie. “Did you eat so-and-so ramen?” I always have to answer “No,” which seems to cause the Japanese questioners some degree of consternation. However, okonomiyaki can be ordered niku nashi (without meat). The problem was that I didn’t want to go to a guidebook recommended place with tourist crowds et al (for one thing, when traveling on one’s own it always feels like you’re the only one not with someone at those places). Naoko suggested I just ask the hotel receptionists to recommend a jimoto (local) place, so I did, and they directed me to an establishment a couple of blocks down the street (“Masahisa” I think it was called), and it was just what I was looking for, one owner/chef, only a few customers (one family, a few lone salarymen, one spinstress, and me), and one of those quiz/variety shows with a million talento revealing that even a only-4-years-in-Japan non-native like myself sometimes knows more about the country than the natives do. While nothing that knocked my socks off or seemed radically different than the Osakan variety of okonomiyaki that I’m used to, it was good all the same and I won’t have to feel guilty when those “Did you eat…?” questions come my way next week.


2 Responses to Okonomiyaki, Hiroshima style

  1. nils says:

    I spent my first five years in Osaka, so the first time I went to Hiroshima (for the 50th anniversary of the Bomb) I had my Osaka-based, Hiroshima-born colleague take me out for Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and she took me to the famous restaurant district whose name I forgot long ago. It had a kind of ramen noodles sandwiched in one layer, which was the thing they didn’t do in Osaka. Other than that, I couldn’t tell.

  2. jLo says:

    nils, you got shafted.

    I’ve eaten okonomiyaki more times than I can count, and to this day, the most delicious version was in Hiroshima, in the train station (!) at a cramped and grimy restaurant that piled noodles upon cabbage upon meat upon egg. It was so huge I could barely eat half of it in one sitting, and it was intensely delicious.

    Sometimes *anaba* are the best. I’d recommend giving Hiroshima-style a couple more whirls at not-so-famous restaurants before throwing in the towel, as Osaka-fu okonomiyaki (and even modan-yaki) pale to the Hiroshima-fu… IMO, of course.

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